Mercury, atomic structure

Mercury, atomic structure

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This image is part of the sequence science and technology: atomic structure and data for the elements

Credit: CARLOS CLARIVAN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Mercury (Hg). Diagram of the nuclear composition, electron configuration, chemical data, and valence orbitals of an atom of mercury-201 (atomic number: 80), an isotope of this element. The nucleus consists of 80 protons (red) and 121 neutrons (orange). 80 electrons (white) successively occupy available electron shells (rings). Mercury is a transition metal in group 12, period 6, and the d-block of the periodic table. It is the only metal to be liquid at room temperature, freezing at minus 39 degrees Celsius. This is because the d-subshell shielding effect of outer (valence) electrons ends. It is a toxic metal, used in thermometers, barometers and manometers.

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